What Easter Taught Me About Writing Sermons

First off, let me appeal to my Christian base by saying CHIRST IS RISEN. And for all you Jews out there, don’t think I forgot about you. It’s getting tougher and tougher to find lamb’s blood at the grocery store in the 21st century, but if you shop at the Halal places, you can usually find it. Have you guys ever considered teaming up for like a Halal/Kosher thing? It kind of all sounds the same to us gentiles anyways. All I’m saying is in this economy when everyone’s tightening their belts, any opportunity you can get to pinch some pennies is probably worth it for you guys. I always kinda felt like the Christians were the instigators historically anyways. Feels like Jews and Muslims kind of understand each other and then the Christians just bust into the Middle East like the Kool Aid Man and it all goes to hell, literally.

Anyways, thanks to all who’ve listened to my Easter Sermon from this past Sunday. If you’re curious, I decided I wanted to do it at about noon on Saturday, so when I got home from work, I made some mimosas, opened up my laptop, and started to write. I’ve never written a sermon before, so this was a relatively new experience for me. Despite all the Bible classes I took growing up homeschooled, sermon writing was usually reserved for the Ph.D. in Bible people. However, in scripture, the LORD says “Let he who hath received the word of GOD deliver it to his people” or something like that. I assume that’s a Bible verse somewhere. So I went to the GOSPEL [John 20 specifically] to find the whole thing where they find the empty tomb and then Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus, all that good stuff. I assume the same thing happens in some of the other Gospels too, but I like John because he seems like a straight shooter. So basically I just cut out the Mary Magdalene part because I’m still protesting ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ but I read the rest of the chapter. Here’s what I learned from writing my sermon:

If you want a really effective sermon, you have to channel a few people to get in the right mood: First, Darrell Waltrip. You know him from his racing days or his announcing days. Boogity Boogity Boogity let’s go racing boys, that guy. The man has an accent like you wouldn’t believe. Another person is this counselor I work with in Nashville (who shall remain nameless), but that person is like if Paula Dean wasn’t a flaming racist. The last person is the LORD because you have to feel INSPIRED to deliver the message. Honestly, I was really happy with how my voice lasted throughout the half hour. There were some moments where it started to fade a bit but I got right back on the horse and kicked into high gear. I thank the mimosas for that but mostly I thank the LORD.

So another really good thing to do is share a good story. Having done some work in Appalachia recently, I’ve heard lots of stories about coal miners and about how OBAMA is destroying our economy and don’t get me started on OBAMACARE and OBAMATAPPING but this is a separate topic. So I hear a lot of stories, and one I heard was about how you have to have that one guy who goes into the shaft before anyone else to test for methane gas. And I thought to myself, gee that sounds a lot like our LORD JESUS CHRIST. My point here being it’s a good idea to have a tangible story for your audience to really grasp on to. You really can’t afford to lose your audience in the middle of a sermon. Some people like to do the story first and then kind of interweave that scripture passage in there, but if I’m being honest, that’s a little bit more work, and I only had about an hour to write a half hour long sermon.

One other thing that is good to do is improvise. If you’re curious, about 90% of the words I spoke in my sermon had been written out beforehand and I was essentially doing a monologue (but with DIVINE PASSION which is important to remember) for 30 minutes, but there were some classic moments where I went off script and let the LORD guide me. You remember that bit around Deal or No Deal? I said something like “God is the banker, and he wants you to take that deal. The deal of ETERNAL LIFE’ — And it’s way better in my Darrell Waltrip-esque accent. ARE YOU GONNA TAKE THAT DEAL?

That’s pretty much what I wanted to say. Thank you all for reading–Year Two has been a challenging one over here in Beantown but it’s special episodes like this that make it worth it. This weekend we have a show from Chicago and then I’m happy to announce that next weekend, we’ll have our first ever show from LAS VEGAS (and maybe the first ever Beantown Podcast from the Mountain Time Zone? But not actually cuz I just googled ‘time in las vegas’ and apparently it’s in Pacific. What a tease) Q Out.

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